Occupying a little over half a square kilometer of land within the City of Manila, the Spanish-era Walled City of Intramuros was declared by the 27th World Travel Awards in 2020 as Asia’s and then the World’s Leading Tourist Destination.
Intramuros beat 15 other nominees in finally getting a well-deserved place in the world tourism map on the very same year that saw the Philippines awarded as the World’s Leading Dive Destination for the second time.
Boasting centuries-old attractions including the Ayuntamiento building, Intramuros, which translates from the Latin to “inside the walls,” has at present 17 museums and galleries to enthrall those who want to soak in the country’s Hispanic heritage.
With the coronavirus pandemic still an issue, virtual tours had been unveiled by the Intramuros Administration through photo essays and video walkthroughs under its #travelfromhome initiative. A YouTube-posted segment, a private production, even featured the many places in Intramuros said to be haunted by ghosts.
In this issue of Snaps, Daily Tribune takes a walk inside Intramuros for what awaits local and foreign tourists once the Covid-19 virus is beaten with the roll-out of vaccines around the world.
There’s, of course, Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church, among others, to teleport visitors to a bygone era of cobbled streets and baroque architecture.
Inside Fort Santiago is the Rizal Shrine Museum, while scattered all around within the walls that defended Manila from numerous foreign invasions, including from the British and the Dutch, are other galleries including the Archdiocesan Museum of Manila and the new addition, Museo de Intramuros.
Intramuros, once hailed as the “Rome of the East,” is awaiting rediscovery by young travelers and tourists.
1. BUILT in 1581 and refurbished extensively in 1958, Manila Cathedral serves as the episcopal seat of the Archbishop of Manila.
2. ADUANA Building (Customs) also housed the first Philippine Senate in 1916 and also the Central Bank and National Treasury post-World War 2.
3. PLAZA San Luis Complex hosts souvenir shops and the famed Barbara’s Restaurant.
4. KING Philip II of Spain.
5. PROMENADERS at the Cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
6. INTRAMUROS policemen must be dressed in period-correct uniforms.
7. FORT Santiago is a citadel or defense fortress built by Spanish navigator and governor Miguel López de Legazpi in 1593.
8. PUERTO Real Garden soothes body and spirit.